In two weeks the Queensland state government will deliver its budget.
We don’t know what is in it but it is likely that Campbell Newman’s government will cut health services and blame the federal government’s funding cuts.
The federal budget has created a crisis for public service delivery, both now and into the future.
Tony Abbott has broken his election promise by cutting over $40 billion in future health funding and introducing a $7 co-payment for visiting the GP. These changes will be disastrous for our hospitals and health system in the years to come.
However the most immediate concern is cuts to health funding to the states that will take place from 1 July 2014.
$1.8 billion in funding for public health and hospitals is slated to be ripped from the state governments starting from 1 July. These cuts won't reduce the deficit and won't pay down debt. The money will be put into a new medical research fund. These are cuts to funding for existing agreements with the state governments.
Campbell Newman is attacking the federal government for cutting health funding when his own government has cut hundreds of millions of dollars from future Queensland health expenditure and sacked about 4,500 staff since it came into office.
Campbell Newman claims to have “increased” funding for health. That is simply not true. He has reduced future funds while claiming to have “increased” the overall amount. His federal colleagues are playing the same game when they claim to have “increased” funding to the states. In both cases it is not true and not fair.
Campbell Newman should not cut funding for health and public hospitals just because the federal government has broken its agreement. Whatever happens in the federal budget, Campbell Newman has a responsibility to Queenslanders to fund health services. Queensland hospitals are Queensland’s responsibility, no matter where the money comes from.
As a Working for Queenslanders supporter there will be opportunity for you to get involved in campaigns against federal cuts soon – stay tuned for more. We also need your help in campaigning to protect our hospitals from Campbell Newman's cutting their funding and blaming Canberra.